Our Research

The major challenge is to continue the technological transformation of the Australian sheep industry through the use of cutting edge research that will enhance sheep wellbeing, introduce value-based trading of sheepmeat and deliver affordable technologies for DNA-based genetic improvement.

Three research programs designed to continue the technological transformation of the sheep industry.

 


Program 1 -  Enhanced sheep wellbeing and productivity. New ways of predicting risks to sheep wellbeing will be developed based on big data applications that draw on weather data, analysis of the Information Nucleus database and regular monitoring to identify management factors that influence risk to wellbeing and productivity. This analysis will be used to build web-based apps that use past and current data to inform management decisions involving culling, nutrition and animal health treatment.


Program 2 - Quality-based sheepmeat value chains.  Improved efficiency of the sheepmeat value chain will be achieved through application of new knowledge and technologies that provide accurate prediction of eating quality and saleable yield of retail cuts most suitable for consumers and retailers.  The same research solutions developed for lamb supply chains will be used to create opportunities for currently undervalued heavier lean lamb and yearling Merino carcases.


Program 3 - Faster affordable genetic gain.  The development of more accurate and affordable DNA tests will bring genomic technology into the mainstream of Australian sheep breeding practices. Next-generation DNA sequencing of samples in the Information Nucleus bio-bank will be used to both boost the accuracy of genomic selection tools and develop significantly cheaper DNA tests for ram breeding programs.  Faster rates of genetic improvement and more flexible breeding objectives set the scene for future growth and increased productivity.